Gurublog

Krishnan Guru-Murthy gives his take on life, the news and everything.

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August 20, 2014 43 Comments

Why we shouldn’t share – or view – the video of James Foley’s murder

Do I really have to explain this? Last night, late, on hearing the dreadful news about James Foley, I tweeted what I thought was a rather obvious, but pertinent reminder why we should not watch a video of a murder.

Apparently some people disagreed.

So here, briefly, is what I mean.

I’m a great believer in showing the reality of war and of humanitarian crises, because people need to understand the impact of things that they can change. I also believe we should show dead bodies on the news in some but not all circumstances, as well as explosions or bombings.

But there is something different and perhaps sacred about the moment of death that makes these sorts of videos, for me, completely different.

Would I ever watch a video of somebody being killed in this country? On the whole, no.

Some point to the video of the Woolwich murder of Lee Rigby. Others will also point to the video-game-like presentations of coalition forces when they show us their precision airstrikes.

My personal view is that the same standard applies.

The whole reason Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda film murders and distribute them online is to spread fear.

I saw that fear on the face of refugees in Iraq last week. The propaganda value of these videos and the stories accompanying them, is so strong that IS does not have to fight its way in to huge swathes of Iraq – people have simply fled at the first sound of them on the city limits.

So spreading a video, or even watching it yourself and telling people about it, is simply doing exactly what IS and al-Qaeda want. It is, in effect, helping them.

You do not need to watch that video to know that it is gruesome, painful and utterly wrong.

You do not need to watch it to form a judgement about the kind of person who would do such a thing. It reveals nothing. So that’s why I didn’t watch it, and I suggest you don’t either.

And that’s without even beginning to consider the gross intrusion into the grief of James Foley’s family.

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August 19, 2014 2 Comments

Gaza heart surgery girl Hala is out of danger – but for how long?

Three-year-old Hala’s health has been transformed after receiving heart surgery in London. But her home is in ruins and her family fear returning to Gaza.

August 15, 2014 No Comments

Iraq’s Christian refugees: ‘They are bewildered’

I’ve been down to the St Joseph Church in Irbil, where Christians from Mosul and Qaraqosh are seeking sanctuary. They told us how the mere sound of the Islamic State made them flee their

August 12, 2014 4 Comments

Was Mork & Mindy really kids’ TV?

Mork, the extra-terrestrial character played by Robin Williams, was too surreal for me when I was a boy. But that’s because Mork and Mindy was really for grown-ups.

August 7, 2014 5 Comments

Gaza: Hope for Hala, the three-year old heart patient

Hala, the three-year-old heart patient in desperate need of surgery she could not get in Gaza, has made it out of the conflict zone.

August 6, 2014 14 Comments

Finding Niema – a symbol of Gaza’s child victims

Channel 4 News meets with Niema, the heart-breaking symbol of the suffering of children in Gaza, weeks after she was injured in an alleged Israeli rocket strike.

August 5, 2014 6 Comments

Inside Gaza: amid the devastation, one family’s story

I’ve been into the suburbs of Beit Hanoun in the north, where whole areas have been completely devastated by a combination of tank shells and air strikes.

June 6, 2014 1 Comment

Duchenne’s is a cruel disease – that’s why I’m cycling to Paris

I’m part of the Channel 4 News team which just embarked on a 300km cycle ride to Paris to raise money for my friend Emiliy Reuben’s Duchenne Children’s Trust.

June 3, 2014 No Comments

The scale of the morphine scandal

18 million people across the world died in 2012 without morphine – shocking, when you realise that 80 per cent of the world’s morphine is consumed by just six countries.

May 29, 2014 6 Comments

Unreported World: Africa’s drugs scandal

Access to palliative drugs should be a basic human right. Yet the World Health Organisation says six rich countries consumer 80 per cent of the world’s morphine.

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